Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can cause the most frustration. In this post, we’re going to make your day a little bit easier! Below are four quick tips that will solve a few frequently asked questions.
1. Which form is this???
Do you have so many forms that you can’t find the one that you want to edit? “Contact us”… “Contact form”… “Contact form 2″… sometimes when you’re staring at a list of form names, it’s hard to know which one is the one that you want to edit. Try this! Go to your website (or landing page, or wherever the active form appears), fill out and submit the form yourself. Then go to Marketing > Posted Forms in CRM, open the Posted Form that you just completed, and click on the Form link from there. You’ll be guaranteed that you’re editing the right form, not an imposter with a similar name!
2. I need a more accurate count!
Want to keep your numbers closer to reality when sending emails? When you press “send” on an email, the system will tell you how many people you are about to send to. However, that number does not always accurately represent how many people will actually receive your email. If you want that “send” number to be as close to how many will be delivered as possible, try the following:
- In your queries for your Marketing Lists, make sure that the Email Address 1 field contains data, Do Not Allow Bulk Emails is set to “Allow,” and Do Not Allow Emails is set to “Allow,” in addition to any other criteria you want. NOTE: ClickDimensions will send to inactive contacts/leads if they are on the marketing list, so if you only want to include Active contacts/leads, make sure to set the Status to “Active.”
Read the out-of-office emails you get back to see if any of them say that that person has permanently left the company, and update records in your CRM to reflect those changes. Don’t want to flood the sender’s inbox with out-of-office messages? Make use of the Reply To feature in the Advanced Settings Area of the Email Send.
3. Who does this contact belong to?
Do you like to have your contacts owned by the same person who owns their Parent Account in CRM? When new contacts/leads come into the system that don’t have a parent account and someone sets that manually, they may be setting the owner manually too. A quick way to make this process more efficient is to create a CRM Workflow that sets the owner of the contact to the owner of the parent account when the Company field changes on the contact record.
4. I’m tired of entering the same data over and over again!
Do you spend too much time updating the same information on your lead or contact records? On forms you’ve created with ClickDimensions, use hidden fields to prevent entering the same information manually into Contact/Lead records many times. Pass data such as “lead source” with the form without it being visible to the customer. Here’s more about setting up hidden fields.
Written by Allison Macedo, ClickDimensions Product Manager
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Why it pays to switch and how easy it is!
Smart business owners aren’t afraid of change, especially if it results in better efficiency and cost savings for the business. But when implementing change, if it is overly complicated, time consuming and full of hassles – is it really worth it? It’s a good question.
We have to assume that this is why many businesses choose to stick with their expensive, aging business phone systems – even when their lengthy service contracts are up. This is the perfect time to switch to an efficient and more-affordable cloud-based solution. Yet the perceived hassle of switching discourages many business owners. And in the end, they may decide to sign another long-term contract and stick with the same antiquated phone service they’ve always had.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Switching to an efficient, contemporary cloud-hosted solution – such as the Vonage business phone system – is extremely easy and quick. And most often, switching requires no downtime whatsoever.
Our business VoIP phone solution plugs directly into your high-speed Internet, so there’s no copper-wire lines to install. And the system is hosted in the cloud, instead of physically on site, so there’s no complex equipment to build and maintain in your office. As a result, we can switch your business to our top-of-the-line business phone system in just three steps:
STEP 1: Consult with a Vonage VoIP Specialist
Our knowledgeable representatives are here to answer your questions and help you determine if our business phone solution is right for your business. For example, a representative may ask you questions regarding:
- the industries you serve.
- the Internet connection you use.
- the number of phone lines you wish to support.
- your preferred timetable for switching to a new phone solution.
By the end of this conversation, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the Vonage business telephone system. You’ll be provided pricing for the plan that best suits your business. And you’ll learn the easy next steps for switching over to our solution. With this information, you’ll be prepared to switch whenever you’re ready. In fact, if you’d like to stay on line with your representative – he or she will tell you about VoIP-compatible phones and begin the process of transferring any existing phone numbers you wish to keep.
STEP 2: Order Your VoIP Phones
If you already have high-speed Internet, or will soon, your representative can help you order your VoIP-compatible phones immediately. Vonage supports over 25 business-grade phone models, which are sold at wholesale and will arrive pre-configured to work on our system. Your representative can advise you on phone options and pricing, and if you’d like, place the order while you’re speaking. If you already have VoIP-compatible phones, your representative will arrange for one of our technical specialists to contact you and reconfigure your phones to work with the Vonage system.
While phones represent an upfront expense, the lower cost of monthly service typically offsets this cost within just months of using our system. The Vonage system saves customers at least 30% over traditional providers on their monthly service, with no contracts.*
STEP 3: Plug into High-speed Internet
Now, on to the best part of switching – enjoying your full suite of business phone features, as well as the month-over-month savings. When your phones arrive and your existing numbers are transferred (if needed), you’re ready to activate your new business phone system. It’s very easy: Simply plug your phones into your Internet connection and notify us to activate service.
While the Vonage phone system is easy to use, all customers are encouraged to take advantage of our extensive learning resources, including:
- New Customer Orientation (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays @ 3 p.m. ET)
- Admin Portal Training (weekdays @ 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.)
- Support Website and Knowledgebase Articles
Customers can also reach out to support representatives every business day, and emergency support after hours and weekends for those rare occasions.
A Switch That’s Worth It to Your Business
The thought of switching to a new business system may sound daunting initially. But when you consider the efficiency of hosted business VoIP technology – without the constraints of complex equipment and on-site infrastructure – the idea of switching is actually liberating for today’s businesses owners.
It’s a good feeling to know that your business is equipped with the latest cloud phone system and all the tools to keep your office and mobile employees efficient and productive. And when you’re saving at least 30% month in and month out, you may wonder why you’ve waited so long.
Want to discuss putting the Vonage system to work for your business? Contact a VoIP specialist today and learn more: 1-877-862-3562.
*Savings based on the average monthly recurring charge for unlimited nationwide business calling plans from leading wireline service providers. Comparison excludes promotional pricing, fees, surcharges or taxes and assumes a customer already has broadband internet service. Check your phone bill to determine the savings that would apply to you.
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The Inbox Preview has been a long-standing feature of ClickDimensions, but with our recent July release we have dramatically increased its overall functionality. We also added this newly improved Inbox Preview to our drag and drop editor for easy access within our popular new editor.
Once you have created an email template, the Inbox Preview allows you to see what your email will look like in a variety of email clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail, on mobile email clients like iPhone, Android and Blackberry, and on web-based email clients including Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.com.
You can now check emails in different email clients and browsers simultaneously to make sure every combination displays as anticipated. In the example below, you see the Gmail in various versions of both Chrome and Explorer and on different operating systems:
Click on any of the thumbnails to see a larger version of the preview:
Go ahead… give it a try! Happy marketing!
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Eventbrite enables people all over the world to plan, promote, and sell tickets to events, and has issued over 200 million tickets and registrations worldwide for attendees in 187 countries. Now, this popular event management tool can be integrated with CRM using ClickDimensions. Our integration will help you feed all of your Eventbrite data back into CRM as well as letting you create new Leads and Contacts for first-time participants.
This integration is included in our July release. View the full release notes, or see the new features in action during our webinar on Thursday, July 24 at 1:00pm UTC / 9:00am EST or 4:00pm PST / 7:00pm EST. Use our auto-update feature to download or initiate an update, or contact our technical support team for assistance.
Adding the Eventbrite integration is easy – navigate to the ClickDimensions Settings area and choose Connectors. Select Add, choose Eventbrite as the connector you wish to add, and fill out your settings. Click here for step-by-step instructions. (Note that it may take a few hours after setup to view any current Eventbrite events as the first connection is being established.)
Once set-up, you will be able to see your events in CRM. Event records are located in Marketing > Event Management > Events. Users of our GoToWebinar and WebEx integrations will be familiar with Event records; Eventbrite works the same way. Event Records keep track of hosted webinars and events, and Event Participation Records (that can be associated with lead and contact records) track participations in your webinars and events. These records will be generated automatically once you have integrated Eventbrite with ClickDimensions.
When an attendee registers for your event, her Event Participation Record will be associated with her Lead or Contact record in CRM. If the person is not already in CRM, a new Lead or Contact (you specify which) will be created.
Eventbrite is a great event management tool, and collecting the data in CRM makes it easy to see which of your leads or contacts are participating in your events. Give it a try! Creating an event in Eventbrite is free – click here to start.
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With the explosion of mobile devices, it has become more and more common to check emails on the train, waiting in line, or even during a coffee break, and we use iPhones, Droids, tablets and laptops to do so. In our July release, we’ve added responsive design to the drag and drop editor, which will now ensure your email looks sharp no matter what device it’s viewed on. Emails will automatically adjust for easy reading based on the size of the display rendering it – we’ve done the HTML/CSS work for you!
Not sure what we mean by responsive design? Let’s take a look…
With many email templates, your message doesn’t easily fit a smaller screen such as a smart phone. Readers would have to reduce the size of the email (making for very tiny text!) or scroll across to see all of the message:
With responsive templates built using the drag and drop editor, images and content are automatically resized and repositioned based on the user’s screen size:
Notice how the ClickDimensions logo is resized to fit the smaller screen. The text blocks and images are also repositioned so that they can be easily viewed on a smaller device. The blocks now run vertically down the page to avoid cut-off text or horizontal scrolling.
From the drag and drop editor, you can quickly preview your responsive email using the new “Preview” button. This will show the email on a simulated phone screen:
You can also use the updated Inbox Preview feature to see your email in a variety of desktop, mobile and web-based email clients:
We’re excited to release this highly-requested feature to help your emails pack a punch—even when your recipients view them on the go!
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There are many reasons why Amazon has dominated the ecommerce marketplace – they offer a seemingly unlimited selection of products (from books to treadmills) and services (such as Amazon Prime), and they somehow make their shopping experience even more addictive (free two-day shipping!).
Even with all that Amazon has to offer, they didn’t evolve into an online retail titan without a rock-solid email marketing strategy. Their email marketing strategies aren’t new, but Amazon seems to have harnessed these ideas and made them work successfully. Here are four ways that Amazon implements successful email marketing, and by using ClickDimensions, you can practice these strategies too!
(1) Personalization – When Amazon sends an email to a customer, there is almost always dynamic content included; at the very least, customers are usually addressed by their personal names. Adding dynamic content to an email send is an easy way to appeal to your recipients on a more personal level.
ClickDimensions offers users multiple means of adding dynamic content. For more details, check out our Help article.
(2) Template Consistency – Amazon effectively brings their website directly into customers’ inboxes through consistency in their designs and templates. Notice the same colors and layout schemes used in both their email sends and throughout their website. While Amazon’s content is constantly evolving (especially based on the customers’ interactions), the familiarity of the layout and templates keep the content relevant to the Amazon brand. For example, emails from Amazon usually contain a “big yellow button” that is also found on their website.
ClickDimensions gives you the ability to clone templates, so you can keep your emails familiar and consistent, even though your content is changing.
(3) Call to Action – Amazon interacts with their customers by sending out interactive emails. It’s very common for customers to receive an email from Amazon encouraging them to “check out” a certain set of items or to order within X-amount of time to get XYZ. Amazon shows customers product recommendations based on what they have previously viewed or purchased and invites customers to give feedback and submit reviews of products they have recently purchased.
This benefits the customer (customers can earn recognition and perks by submitting feedback), the reseller (helps improve business practices or helps promote products), and Amazon as a business (generates more customer interaction, which leads to repeat business and product suggestions).
An interactive email is an email that isn’t quickly disregarded.
ClickDimensions offers the ability to build surveys and forms, which can include a rating system and the ability to submit feedback. Through ClickDimensions, you can track how customers interact with your emails and how they respond to these surveys. You can also build effective nurture programs, which help automate and organize the process of interacting with customers.
(4) Open Options – With Amazon, it’s easy to manage which of their subscription lists you wish to receive emails from. Amazon is transparent with subscribers about how often they can expect to receive emails, and subscribers can opt out any time and easily change subscription preferences.
ClickDimensions allows you to build and track subscriptions, as well as create your own opt in and opt out menu options. With the recent implementation of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, this is especially relevant to our Canadian customers and those who conduct business in Canada.
It’s easy to see how Amazon sets the example when it comes to email marketing; you can’t be an online retail giant without effective marketing strategies. With ClickDimensions, it’s easy to take these strategies and implement them to yield better results.
Written by Molly Lambeth, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions
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One of our customers is an international company that has their headquarters and main marketing department in The Netherlands. Although the marketing department designs the templates that are used in regular sales actions, it is up to the regional offices across Europe themselves to create, adapt and send email blasts to their local customers. One of the challenges we faced here is they didn’t want to risk the situation where someone would misuse the “From name” and “From e-mail” fields to enter wrong or incorrect data. To solve this, we locked these fields and offered a solution where users can only choose pre-defined options.
Additionally, this solution falls within the standard security and business unit configuration and can be maintained in a flexible manner. Key users can easily add or remove e-mail addresses without any customization needs.
Here’s how we’ve done it:
First we created a new entity called “E-mail addresses.”
In this record, you can enter a name and email address.
Secondly, we added a required lookup on the Email Send form to the e-mail addresses. Here, users can select a predefined record, while the from name and email address are no longer required.
After the workflow is completed and the user refreshes the form, the send button is available again and the correct information is entered and shown in the fields.
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Today’s guest post is from CRM MVP Mitch Milam, proprietor and Chief Technologist of CRM Accelerators. Mitch has contributed for years to the CRM community via his blog, two books and now, his “KnowledgeBits” email series, which he sends using ClickDimensions.
Earlier this year I created an information delivery system I call KnowledgeBits. This is a multi–channel electronic newsletter containing tips and tricks covering a variety of Dynamics CRM–related topics including:
- .NET Development (beginning and intermediate)
- Training Strategies
KnowledgeBits are delivered via email and you will receive one per day, for each “channel,” which is one of the categories above.
You may sign up to receive your choice of KnowledgeBits here:
I used several ClickDimensions features to accomplish the goal. Let’s review the details of my solution:
Creating the KnowledgeBits
Each KnowledgeBit contains a single tip or trick or discussion about a specific topic area. I created a standard email template containing the base formatting and layout for all KnowledgeBit emails:
This was later cloned for each of the different topics within each individual channel:
Create a Marketing List
I created one static Marketing List for each of my KnowledgeBit channels which will be used by the ClickDimensions nurture feature to actually deliver the KnowledgeBit.
Customizing the Contact Entity
The Contact entity needed to be modified and fields added to save the user’s KnowledgeBit channel preferences:
As you can see, there is one Two Option field for each KnowledgeBit channel. These are used on the web content form to actually collect the data:
This is the actual web form that is embedded on a page within each of my blogs.
Create a Custom Workflow
ClickDimensions will either create a new contact or update an existing contact. Regardless, when this happens a custom workflow I created will be executed.
Here are the execution properties of the workflow:
The main triggers in this case are:
- When a new Contact is created.
- When one of the KnowledgeBit channel signup fields are updated
The actual steps of the workflow look something like this:
I perform a check on each of the KnowledgeBit channel signup fields to see if it has been set to Yes and if so, I execute a step that adds that person to the specific marketing list for that KnowledgeBit.
Note: The Add To Marketing List step is a custom workflow activity from one of my commercial products since this functionality is not built into Microsoft CRM.
I have one marketing list created for each KnowledgeBit channel. We’ll be using the ClickDimensions nurture feature to deliver our KnowledgeBits and it requires that we use a static marketing list instead of the dynamic marketing list.
Create a Nurture Program
The final step to this process is to create an actual ClickDimensions nurture program to handle each of the KnowledgeBit channels.
Each nurture is linked to the marketing list for that channel:
The actual nurture steps could not be simpler:
Here is how the email step is configured:
As you can see, I have selected my Email Template as the basis for my email. ClickDimensions will automatically replace the placeholder with the Contact’s first name, which adds a bit of personalization to the process.
This was a very interesting process to undertake and it highlights both the power of Dynamics CRM and what a well-designed integrated application like ClickDimensions can give you.
I will be honest in saying that the creation of the process took much less time than the creation of the individual KnowledgeBits. I way underestimated how much I could say and how long it took me to say it. But judging by the comments I’ve received from KnowledgeBit recipients, it was well worth it.
So, go forth and do likewise.
Everyone has knowledge to share, you just need to pick your sharing methodology. This is just one more tool in your toolbox.
Contact me if you have any questions.
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Every four years the consistently biggest global marketing stage rolls around – the FIFA World Cup – where expense totals reach astronomical figures and revenue streams are flooded. Whether you live in a country where it’s soccer or futbol, World Cup-related digital marketing and social media activities are skyrocketing.
First, let’s put the event into perspective. In the US, Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched television event in United States history, with an average 111.5 million football fanatics tuning in. Because it’s the biggest American television event each year, marketers capitalize on the opportunity with crazy, hilarious, or heart wrenching television ads that often are more memorable than the game itself.
However, nearly five times as many people around the globe – 530 million – tuned into the 2010 World Cup Final. But that’s not the most astonishing fact. Of the 64 World Cup matches that year, 57 had over 100 million viewers. That means that over the course of a month, 57 different ‘soccer Super Bowls’ happened. This fact has not gone unnoticed by marketers in 2014. eMarketer projects a total expenditure of roughly 1.3 billion American dollars in advertising during this year’s World Cup, with $68.5 million going towards television and the $56 million balance hitting the Internet.
So how is digital marketing a big winner? At 2010’s World Cup, companies invested only 20% of their total marketing expenditure in digital media, compared to the nearly 50% of 2014 projected expenditures. Global corporations have finally decided to utilize the web to their full potential, implementing digital strategies rather than having TV commercial wars.
Social media definitely has World Cup fever. In the first week alone, Facebook reported 459 million World Cup-related interactions (posts, likes, comments), whereas the Super Bowl resulted in roughly a 185 million and the Sochi Winter Olympics had 120 million. And this week’s semifinal between Germany and Brazil became the most discussed sporting event ever on Twitter. According to Twitter, the match generated 35.6 million tweets, peaking at 580,166 tweets per minute. Comparatively, the 2014 Super Bowl generated 24.9 million tweets.
All of this activity is generating big numbers for social networks and advertisers. To promote its Gol mobile app, McDonalds purchased a global Promoted Trend on Twitter in 57 countries, estimated to have cost $1-2 million dollars. Nike’s #RiskEverything campaign has generated 6 billion impressions across TV, cinema, web, social, gaming, mobile and out-of-home.
Viral videos in particular have taken over the Internet during this year’s World Cup. Nike has implemented an interesting strategy where they show a small part of their riveting commercials on television and at the end give a call to action to visit YouTube to see what happens next. Not surprisingly, this call has been answered, and Nike’s “Winner Stays” video has accumulated over 86 million views on YouTube. Shakira and Sony Music are also cashing in on the YouTube medium, with Shakira’s song “La La La (Brazil 2014)” hitting 157 million views and still climbing.
It will be interesting to see how the final numbers add up after the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, but regardless of the winner, it would seem that marketers will be cheering.
If you’re heading to Washington for WPC, look for the ClickDimensions team on Sunday afternoon… we’ll be watching!
Written by Marcus Andren and Heather Wright, ClickDimensions marketing
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Many business owners are learning that allowing staff to work from home (aka telecommuting or teleworking) really does reap hard business benefits. Driven by the overlap in work and home life, teleworking is growing in popularity as the solution for employees who often need to be in two places at one time. This emerging business strategy is supported by evidence which shows that high-quality work can be produced equally in both settings. A successful work from home program requires leading-edge business tools and technology to enable a remote workforce and to give employers ongoing confidence in the program.
When Working from Home Just Makes Sense
Most employees can benefit from working at home at one time or another due to the nearly frenzied pace of today’s work environment, in which employees find themselves with increased pressure and demands. Often, working from home provides the calm that produces high-quality work. And for salaried employees for whom overtime comes with the job, spending all those hours in the office can be detrimental to their work-life balance and stress level. Given these circumstances, working from home can be the most logical approach to meeting business imperatives. For example:
- The Red-Eye: If one of your employees is attending a business event after work and long into the night, it could be unproductive to have him or her return to the office at 7 a.m. the next morning.
- The Boomerang: If an employee lives only 10 minutes away from a client’s headquarters but over an hour away from the office, it probably wouldn’t make sense to have him or her come into the office on the day of a visit to the client’s site.
- The Fire Drill: If an employee is drowning in work one week, it would be beneficial to give him or her the extra hours at home that might otherwise be eaten up by a lengthy commute.
- The Jet Lag: If an employee has been out of the office traveling for business, it might be best for his or her stress level and workflow management to have a couple days at home – away from the hustle and bustle – to play catch-up.
Working from home enables employees to start work early and/or work late to manage their responsibilities at their own pace. This functions as a company perk, further enhancing job satisfaction and loyalty.
Working from Home Won’t Work Without the Right Tools and Technology
The success of your at-home workers also depends on how technologically equipped they are. Therefore, business owners need to be selective when choosing technology, from desktop software solutions to business phone systems. Vonage Business Solutions, for example, can arm telecommuting employees with numerous mobility phone features, as well as mobile apps for iOS® and Android®. And with plug and play technology, employees even have the option of taking their desk phones home – plugging into the Internet and enjoying full in-office functionality.
For many, working from home is no longer a preference – it’s a necessity. And the convenience and added productivity makes telecommuting a welcome addition to nearly anyone’s work schedule. What’s most important is that you create a thoughtful telecommuting plan with input from your employees and arm them with the tools and technology to be successful. Otherwise, you could be limiting your organization’s full potential.
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